• February 2014
  • Vol. 15, No. 2

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Risk Factors for Female Crossover Youth

An April 2013 issue brief by Advocates for Children and Youth (ACY) provides an overview of existing research, the unique risk factors of, and the trends associated with teen girls involved with the child welfare and juvenile justice systems in Maryland.

Youth involved with both child welfare and juvenile justice face myriad challenges, which generally require more intensive services than youth involved in a single system. However, these youth often do not receive the coordinated services and support they need because of the inherent barriers associated with cross-agency collaboration. Of these youth, a disproportionately large number are female, specifically women of color, yet little research exists to examine this phenomenon.

The ACY brief outlines some of the risk factors shown to make females more susceptible to involvement with both the child welfare and juvenile justice systems, including age at the time of abuse, out-of-home placement, environmental and social instability, and a history of trauma and maltreatment. It also summarizes the legislation that the Maryland General Assembly passed in 2011 that looks at gender disparities in services offered by Maryland's Department of Juvenile Services. While the resulting report focused on youth involved with juvenile justice, many trends can be applied to crossover youth. Some of these trends and a number of other key points, including demographics/data are presented.

ACY is a nonprofit, Maryland-based advocacy organization whose mission is to promote and evaluate the effectiveness of policies and programs that work to ensure that all Maryland children are safe, healthy, educated, and secure in their families and communities.

Unique Risk Factors Signal Dual Involvement for Female Youth in Child Welfare and Juvenile Justice Systems: More Research Needed to Better Serve Population, 10(4), the first of several related briefs, is available on the ACY website:

http://www.acy.org/upimages/Issue_Brief_Draft_Crossover_Girls_almost_FINAL.pdf (355 KB)

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